If you think you’ve got to cover yourself in paint, throw yourself on the ground and strip down to your birthday suit to be an activist, think again. An activist is defined simply, as a person who campaigns for social change.
A beautiful aspect of being human is that we have the power to change things that we don’t agree with — whether it be what’s in our food, how animals are treated in captivity, or inequality between genders or races. When you begin to take action to bring awareness to the causes you care about, you become an activist in the process.
So while the seemingly extreme actions mentioned above will definitely get you noticed, they are, by no means, essential for becoming an activist. All it takes to become an activist are passion, knowledge and a desire to help bring about change. Anyone can do it — here are seven ways that you can get involved in the causes you care about:
1. Educate Yourself
Read, check out documentaries, listen to podcasts on your way to work — whatever you can do to learn the most that you can about your cause will only help to make you a better activist by giving you the knowledge you need to educate others and ignite change.
2. Engage the Power of Social Media
Social media has revolutionized the way we communicate and is a powerful tool for activists. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube… whatever your social media platform of choice, there are tons of connections to be made with individuals and organizations that share the same values and goals as you do. Be sure to share our posts on your personal social media platforms, as well!
Volunteering offers wonderful opportunities to network and gain knowledge and experience. By helping an organization whose work you admire, you’ll learn more about your chosen cause and make valuable connections with those interested in the same things that you are.
4. Find Like-Minded People
When you’re part of a network of like-minded people, your cause takes on a stronger purpose and you’ll benefit from their camaraderie, support and knowledge. Social media and volunteering can help connect you to those with similar interests, but don’t stop there. Bring up your activist work in everyday conversation — you never know who may also share the same passions, and you may just recruit another member for your cause! Remember, when it comes to activism, there certainly is power in numbers!
5. Get Creative and Have Fun
Being an activist doesn’t mean limiting yourself to one type of activism or another. It’s about sharing what you know with others who may not know. These days, activism takes so many shapes and forms — from cooking to art to music. Have fun with it and make it interesting! Use your personal talents to create your own, unique form of activism.
6. Don’t Stop
Never stop learning and never pass up an opportunity to share what you know. Maybe the woman next to you on the train would be interested in one of your leaflets on factory farming. Or maybe your barber wants to put an end to GMOs, too. Talk to people… the worst they can do is say they’re not interested. But you may be surprised at how many are.
7. Live It
Conscious activism is activism by doing. Think of it as leading by example. You can make very powerful statements by the ways in which you choose to live your life — where you shop, what you eat, the clothes you wear…Make sure you’re living in accordance with the ideals you believe in and you’ll be well on your way to promoting change!
8. Be a Green Monster
What better way to tell the world about the animal and environmental issues you are concerned about than to become a Green Monster! Everyday writing for One Green Planet you have the power to tell the story of farm animals that need help, share tips on how to cook and eat with the planet and animals in mind, and change the mindset of people across the world for the better! How cool is that? Find out how to join the OGP team by clicking here. You can also make your voice heard by participating in our Unleash Your Green Monster campaign! Click here for more details and get started.
Becoming an activist and fighting for change is certainly not always an easy task, but the rewards far outweigh the downfalls. For those Green Monsters who already are activists, what advice would you offer someone who is just starting out on their activist journey?